MELBOURNE, AAP – Almost half of Victorian businesses want mandatory COVID-19 vaccination as a condition of employment, a survey by the state’s peak industry body shows.
The Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry survey of about 1600 firms, conducted last week, shows 45 per cent of businesses support the idea, while another 29 per cent support mandatory vaccinations for some professions.
The news comes as the state recorded 22 new local cases and extended its current lockdown for a fortnight.
A third of respondents were giving their staff time off work to get their jabs and a third would also like to be able to offer vaccinations in their workplaces.
Last week, the state government announced another major round of funding support worth $367 million for businesses hit by the state’s sixth lockdown.
State and federal government support during this lockdown has so reached about $1.2 billion, with Premier Daniel Andrews flagging further funding would be announced on Tuesday.
He says Victorians have to pull together to drive case numbers down.
“That gives us options to have kids at school, to have businesses open, to have people back at work, football games with crowds,” he told reporters on Monday.
Just under three quarters of survey respondents said unvaccinated people should not be allowed to attend sports or other big events.
Chamber chief executive Paul Guerra said vaccination was the best tool to fight COVID-19 and the hardships that come with repeated lockdowns.
“The majority of our members also support the introduction of greater freedoms from restrictions and entry to events for fully vaccinated people,” he said.
The respondents were members of the chamber and included small and medium-sized businesses as well as large corporations.
Three per cent of firms were giving staff money to encourage them to get vaccinated.